By Karen Welch — Senior Content Producer
Leal's Mexican Restaurant will fill out the remaining space left vacant by Furr's at The Shops at Wolflin Square.
Owner Victor Leal is aiming for a January opening in the restaurant's new digs, after an extensive remodel to create a restaurant with a banquet room for as many as 100 guests.
"We need more seating. We just don't have enough room," Leal said of the restaurant's current home at Wellington Square. "And we get calls constantly on banquets, so we need a banquet room."
Wellington Square lies at the northwest corner of Interstate 40 and Georgia Street, while The Shops Wolflin Square occupies the southeast corner of the intersection.
Wolflin Square recently leased a small part of the former Furr's space to Makie Black Boutique. Leal's will take the lion's share of the square footage. The future space can be more easily accessed than the Wellington Square space, where stairs are an issue, Leal said.
Renovations will include more windows to give part of the restaurant a patio feel, an open kitchen, a banquet room that can be divided, high, exposed celings, and a bar featuring mescal and tequila selections.
The design will incorporate a prominent spot to watch employees make tortillas.
"My grandfather started a tortilla factory in the Rio Grande Valley," Leal said. "It's a tradition that's been in our family for 100 years."
The look of the restaurant will be a blend of "old world" Mexican decor — wood, pressed tin — and modern amenities and lighting, Leal said.
"Our main deal is to make it feel like you're coming into your home," he said. "We want to create what Mom created in her home. Everyone want3ed to be there because of Mom and Dad's hospitality."
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Karen Welch is a senior content producer for Panhandle PBS. She can be contacted at Karen.Welch@actx.edu, at @KWelch806 on Twitter and on Facebook. Subscribe to the Panhandle PBS BizHere podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud to hear more business news and interviews.